Thursday, April 27, 2017

Death in the Dark Continent - Mahdist Revolt

Another month and another project - the curse of the wargamer struck again.

Around the same time as I ordered my 10mm Boer War miniatures, I got hooked on The Mahdist Revolt, the very nice Perry plastic sets a major contributing factor to this. Initially I wanted to use The Men Who Would Be Kings rules, but after looking at the amount of Mahdists figure that would be fielded for a 24 point game I figured that a lot of time would be spent moving the almost 100 figures around.

Coincidentally North Star was having a Nickstarter for Death in the Dark Continent and having previous looked at the rules and liked what I read, I decided to join in and base the minis for this game. I am still waiting for my book though.

What I like about the Death in the Dark Continent rules is that each army is not as general as in The Men Who Would Be Kings (not that I don't like that rule sets). The fact that I can have more nuances in each army appeals to me. The different troop types and different quality of the troops creates almost endless options. The army lists are well constructed and gives a real specific feeling for each army. With 60mm x 30mm bases consisting 2-3 minis each unit will be easy to move about and will look superb.

After some planning the plastic sets (3 Mahdist and 1 British box) were ordered from Firestorm Games. I also placed an order directly with Perry for some more Mahdist riflemen and some Highlanders.

I would basically have 132 Mahdists and 48 British.

The plan is to create the following units for the Mahdists:

Beja (Elite Warriors): 3 units of 4 bases each (36 minis)
Jihadiyya (Soldiers): 3 units of 3 bases each (27 minis)
Ansar (Skirmishers, with spears): 14 bases (28 minis)
Ansar (Skirmishers, untrained with muskets): 5 bases (10 minis)

101 minis in total, which is a lot more than the standard 300 points pr game, but will give a lot of options

For the British, I have deviated a bit from the army list. The reason being that my Brits are part of the Relief Coloumn sent towards Khartoum in 1884, and which as far as I can see did not contain any Egyptian or Sudanese troops which is the mainstay of the army list. So this is what I plan to make:

British Regular Infantry (Elite Soldiers) 16 bases, 4 of which will be Highlanders (48 minis)

Again this is more than what is need for a 300 point list, but I wanted to add the Highlanders for flavour.

Since the mins arrived I have begun with the Mahdists. I have looked for inspiration about how to paint such a large force at the excellent One Man and his Brushes blog, which is a must for anyone interested in wargaming the Mahdist Revolt.

I started off with the Beja and then moved on the the Jihadiyya. Each troop type has taken about 10 days to paint. Right now I am working on the Ansar, all 19 bases at a time, before moving on to the British.

In the planning pipeline is to go into the real Darkest Africa and get a Force Publique and Azande army, which can be used to either combat each other or join up and go to war against the Mahdists. Readers of this blog will remember that I have already had a brief project with Darkest Africa, which I decided to sell immediately after finishing painting them. This time I feel that the Death in the Dark Continent rules will make sure that the lovely Foundry minis will actually get some game time.

More to follow on this project.

Regarding the 10mm Boer War project, it has been placed on hold. I have received the minis and started painting them, but I just did not get the same satisfactory feeling of painting 10mm as I do 28mm, so this is a project for the future.

Monday, April 17, 2017

FOR SALE: Northwest Frontier miniatures


My friend and I are looking to sell our Northwest Frontier miniatures.

We are talking about both Pathans and British. These miniatures have only been used for gaming once and have since just been stored away.

The Pathans, painted superbly by my friend, consists of Artizan Design, Studio Miniaures and Wargames Foundry miniatures. There is a total of 36 miniatures; 17 riflemen, 2 drummers, 3 standard bearers and 14 swordsmen. There is not a single double of them.

The British, painted by myself, consists of miniatures from Artizan Design and Wargames Foundry. There is a total of 36 miniatures split into 4 units each with a British officer; British infantry, Sikh infantry, Guides infantry and Ghurka infantry. All of them with a British officer, totalling 32 miniatures.

All miniatures are based on round 25mm bases - the Pathans on GW types and the British on washers.

We are looking to get £220 for the whole 72 miniatures. Postage comes on top and I think it will be around £35 for the EU, but might be cheaper.

We prefer a total sale, but are willing to sell each army individually for £120.

Write in the comments if you are interested, and I will get back to you quickly. And feel free to share this blog post with anyone you think might be interested.

Friday, March 17, 2017

2nd Boer War - Start of new project

For a couple of years now I have been thinking about wargaming the 2nd Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902. I had wanted to get into colonial wargaming for some time, but also wanted more equal forces than you normally get in colonial wargaming. My friend Frank and I dabbled a bit with a Pathan Revolt 1897 game, where I had adapted the Lion Rampant rules, but it somehow did not grab us.

Without a doubt this is one of the most overlooked conflicts, which I think is because gamers are unsure about whether it is a colonial game or like WW1. The answer, at least if you want to play the first phase of the war - the conventional war, that it is very much it's own thing. The second phase of the war  - the guerilla war, is no different than other guerilla wars. So the first thing I needed to find out was which type of game I wanted. This would also have an impact on the miniatures size.

Now I have never painted anything other than 28mm, so I was vary about smaller size being able to show the character or whether it would just look like small lumps of metal with paint on them.

I decided that the guerilla war phase was what I wanted so what rules to use?

Now I have gone back and forth about which rules and minis to use, so this is only a brief intro into some of the "dilemmas" I discussed with my friend Eric, my girlfriend Julie and of course myself.


TooFatLardies also had some playtesting of their now released 2nd Boer War rules, which further peaked my interest. At the time the rules had not be released, but it was clear that they very not intended for large skirmishes, but rather bigger forces using 6mm figures.

When the rules were released with Christmas Special 2016 publication, I eagerly read through them hoping that they might be usable for the guerilla war phase afterall. They did not. Now my knowledge of the 2nd Boer War is by no means large, but this is by far the best and most historically correct rule set for the conflict I have come across. I might try them out later.


At the same time I was looking at rules I looked at minis, more specifically miniature sizes. I read good things about the large range of 10mm Pendraken Boer War miniatures. I enquired about some photos on their forum as none were available on their website, and ended up getting a free sample of 9 foot and 2 cavalry models - this is customer service at it's best.

I was still looking at 28mm as this was what I had always painted, and while there are some ranges out there, there were still some things that I was vary about. Old Glory's range is good, but I read that their figures have weird poses and the sculpts are not that good. Foundry's quality is good, but the range is not that big and I was unsure whether they would mix well with other minis.

My sample arrived and after some research about how to paint 10mm I got to it. Once the minis were primed and given a wash the details stood out, and I was pleasantly surprised, I could still make out the different features of each mini. I got painting and within two hours I had painted all 9 foot and was quite please with the result. The task was not as daunting as I thought.

 British samples

 Next to a 28mm figure for comparison

 Primed Boers

 Primed British with a wash

 British all painted up

Boers all painted up

So what did I end up with?

I wanted a rule set that was generic enough so that I could tailor it to the 2nd Boer War, and without a million minis on the table - I was looking for something similar in size to Sharp Practice 2 and Chain of Command. Having purchased The Men Who Would Be Kings when it was released I sat down to reread it and came to the conclusion that this would be perfect. So working on the force list for the 1st Boer War as a base and some wonderful discussions on The Men Who Would Be Kings fan FB group, I have come up with troop types that I think will work - a future post will detail this.

Miniture wise I had decided that 28mm would be the way to go despite my positive experience on painting 10mm. I soon came back to the same problem of which company's minis I should get. Again both the The Men Who Would Be Kings and were extremely helpful in providing pictures and comments, but I was still unsure. Going for 28mm would also mean that I would only be working with half sized units (termed Skirmish Kings) in the rules, as my budget for this is not huge.

So after some careful consideration I decided that I could get all that I needed to play 10mm full sized units for a third of the money to play with 28mm half sized units. That made it an easy decision in the end and I placed an order with Pendraken, which in the end also included a few farms and a block house.

My painting table so be free (some WW2 Russians for Chain of Command is currently occupying it) by the time the order arrives and I am really looking forward to getting to work on them and of course some suitable terrain as well.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Peninsular War - French Light Column

Back in January my friend Erik and I decided to embark on a Sharp Practice Peninsular War project, he would get and paint a British force, while I took on the French. Since I knew Erik would be fielding a lot of Rifles in his force I wanted to create a French force suitable as an opponent. So the basis for this was the French Light Column in the Sharp Practice book.

After some research about which minis to get, I chose two Perry plastic sets and a couple of metal packs. After getting them and putting them together I realised that I was a couple of minis short, so I got what I needed from Front Rank, and while on their website I got 6 Vistula Legion Voltigeurs as well. Uniform wise they might not be 100% accurate, but they will look the part and unless my opponent suddenly becomes an expert on Napoleonic uniforms he will not notice either.

I decided to paint the miniatures as a Light Column, which is one of the options shown on the Perry website. The dismounted Dragoons (my favourites of the lot) will be used as a skirmish troop. I still have figures to make a Carabiners(Grenadiers) unit, but I don't think it will be needed.

Here is the Light Column force that I will be able to put on the table (number of minis in the brackets):

3 x Chasseur units (24)
2 x Voltigeur Skirmisher units (12)
1 x Dragoons, dismounted skirmishers unit (6)
1 x Vistula Legion Voltigeur Skirmishers unit (6)
1 x Dragoons, mounted unit (8)

5 Leaders and one Bugler.

Having set up all my terrain and taken pictures of them, I put the minis on the board and took some more pictures, so here you go.